Monday, February 14, 2011

Life with baby -- birth

Wow -- I've tried sitting down to post about 100 times, and yet never quite make it (and now should be napping, but...).

I'm totally in love with my son. Heart-stoppingly, life-changingly in love. It is more amazing than I could have expected, and just thinking about how lucky I am and how grateful my husband and I both are for the opportunity to have this child -- our child -- makes me cry.

So how did I get here? After my routine 36 week sonogram showed very very low fluid levels, I was admitted to the hospital and hooked up to an IV and fetal monitor and basically let alone until the next morning. Note that, at 36 weeks pregnant and being pumped full of fluids, I became quite adept at moving through the cramped double room to the bathroom with the IV pole. I probably slept no more than one hour, because, well, I had to pee over and over and was terrified that they would have to deliver the baby early.

My OB came in at 730 the next morning and did another sonogram and, to our dismay, there was still low fluid. No good reason for it (I was drinking HUGE amounts of water every day), but so low that it could have led to cord compression and danger to the baby. So we started to prep for an 11.30am delivery time. And I started to get really really nervous. Apparently I hid it well, because my husband was not aware of how terrified I really was. The Boy arrived at the hospital at 9 and we both began the pre-op process. Even if the baby hadn't been breech, he would have had to be a c-section, because with such low fluid, contractions could have harmed him.

At 1030 they took me to the OR and yes, I was still scared. Scared that the c-section itself would hurt, scared that there would be something wrong with the baby, scared of being so completely mentally and practically not ready to have a baby that day and how we would manage.

Anesthesia was not bad (remember, we are all good with needles, and this one I didn't even have to see!) and my OB who I love love love basically hugged me as the anesthesiologist put in the local and then the spinal block. Then the nursing team and OB sprang into action and started prep for the procedure. At this point the curtain was set up over my chest and so my husband came in. I swear I have never held anyone's hand so tightly for so long. And I kept my eyes either closed or on him -- for some reason looking up at the lights or at the curtain just amplified my anxiety. But talking to him about what was happening -- that we were about to meet our baby -- made it much much less scary.

The team was great about telling me what they were doing and when, and were very forthright about the fact that there would be "pressure not pain" -- I honestly couldn't even figure out what that meant until it was happening. But once I was opened they really started compressing my belly up near the top -- there were a couple of very big pushes into my chest so as to move the baby down so that he could be brought out. It didn't hurt, per se, but was just a very foreign and not entirely pleasant feeling.

And then, after only about 10 minutes from the time the procedure started, he was out. And it -- the mystery baby that we have talked to and hoped for and loved -- came into the world and we got to see him. And finding out that the baby was a boy, and knowing that our names were all picked out, was just wonderful because there was this one moment where the baby went from being a theoretical "it" baby to being a our son with a name.

And so they showed us Benajmin, all covered in goo, and then took him to be cleaned up and checked out. And we cried, because he cried loudly and healthily, and because we were so so lucky that he was not very small and was breathing without trouble. He scored brilliantly on his Apgar test (9.9! Yeah for slightly premature babies exceeding expectations) and so was deemed healthy enough to avoid the NICU entirely and go to the well baby nursery. He weighed in at 6lbs 1oz and 20 5/8th inches -- he was clearly on track to be a big baby!

And then they brought him back to my husband and let him hold him while they put me back together, and we all reconnected about 30 minutes later (really, I have no idea of the time -- there were drugs involved) in the recovery room. And I got to hold him and touch him for the very first time and it was magic.

It wasn't at all how we had prepared or planned, but it was wonderful all the same. Because all that is really important is that Benjamin entered the world and that he is here and is healthy.

More on the days after in a later post.


  1. so thrilled for you. He is just adorable. Congrats to you and your lovely new son, mommy!!!!!

  2. Congrats! It sounds like you did great, and yes, being wheeled in for that c-section is scary but it sounds like you did great! And Benjamin too! He is lovely, congrats again!

  3. Awesome!! So glad it went so smoothly considering all that could have happened!! :)

  4. Thank you so much for giving up nap time to post! It is WONDERFUL to read your birth story. You are amazingly strong -- I think I might have been a puddle on the floor if I'd been in your shoes. But was a miracle! I am so incredibly happy that everything worked out well. And what a BEAUTIFUL little boy you have! He is so, amazingly adorable. I hope you are feeling well.
    love, inB

  5. OMG! What a wonderful birth story! I am hoping mine goes as smoothly as yours! I am undergoing a scheduled c-section at 36 weeks tomorrow! Congradulations and thanks for sharing Benjamin's story!

  6. I am trying to write my birth story right now too-- so hard to know how to begin! Mine is similar to yours in a lot of ways, so I totally relate to all the fear and the unpreparedness and the bonding in the recovery room... amazing, isn't it?

    I too should be napping, but I am too in love to sleep. I am sure you feel the same...

    Thanks for sharing!!

  7. I'm getting teary. So glad all is well.

  8. Lovely! I'm so glad he's here safe and sound and that you are happy and well. He's so beautiful :)


  9. Oh, he's so very beautiful! I can see why you adore him! And thank you for taking the time to share this. Since I'm planning for something much like it (except without the surprise element, which sounds totally stressful!) it is awfully reassuring to hear the details. Particularly the part where they actually got him out, and the part where you weren't separated for very long.

  10. Wonderful, wonderful. Welcome to the world, beautiful Benjamin. I'm so glad you're okay, and he's okay. It sounds like it was scary there for awhile - so very glad that all's well that ends well.

  11. A wonderful story. I am so thrilled for you!

  12. love love love!!! i'm sooo happy for you and esp, that benjamin is doing great. was the baby nurse able to come help you guys earlier than expected? hope so :o) xoxoxoxo.

  13. So happy for you! He's a cutie :).

  14. Thank you SO much for the post on my blog about breast feeding. I'm much more nervous about it than I let myself admit, and I really appreciate hearing that it isn't easy and that's ok. I hope you and Ben are working it out and finding a good compromise that works for both of you!

    I have no idea how you all with new babies have time to read any blogs at all needless to say comment. I really appreciate it and am in awe!!!